Friday, 12 April 2013

Four eggs

Because the weather has been so grey and drab for much of the year, which means that the light is not ideal for well lit, attractive images of wildlife, it has meant that I have updated my blog infrequently.  By trying to maintain a 'photo led' blog, however, I am restricting myself from recording what has been happening on the Thames more regularly and so I have decided to write more often and add images when I have suitable ones.

It's another wet and grey morning here and it has rained very heavily during the night. The river is so much quieter at the moment, no doubt because most female water birds are nest building or laying eggs first thing. There aren't even many male partners hanging around which is unusual.  No doubt, as the season progresses, things will change.

Another egg laid today

This morning, when I turned on 'duck TV' our female mallard was sitting quietly in the nestbox and seemed quite relaxed.  When I next glanced at the screen I noticed that her breathing had changed and that her muscles were contracting and relaxing rather rapidly.  After a couple of minutes she seemed to relax fully again but her rest was soon disturbed by a rival drake.  He climbed into the box and attacked her and she was forced to fly off, exposing four eggs.  She hasn't been back but he has twice inspected the box and seems to be trying to persuade his own female mallard, a much paler duck, to use one of the two nest boxes.  We shall have to see what happens tomorrow morning and, if possible, I shall keep  watch but, in the end, Nature has to take its course and the current female will be attacked on a regular basis I fear.

A sunset in early April

We have been lucky enough to see some sunshine recently but once again the skies are overcast and today it has been raining hard with a few periods of dry but overcast skies.  The April showers seem to be less of the showers and more of persistent rain.  Will the weather ever improve?

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